For my first outing for Pittsburgh’s Summer 2014 Restaurant Week, I dined at San Lorenzo, a new eatery that officially opened at the end of June in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. From a food standpoint, I love it there and I also like to support new places when I can by trying them out, since getting started in the restaurant business is probably one of the toughest ventures ever.
I made reservations for a Wednesday night and I’m glad I did because after overhearing the staff talking, it seemed like they were booked pretty much for the rest of that night. Between it being restaurant week and it also being a BYOB (always an extremely attractive deal for many people), I wasn’t too surprised by this. The dining space isn’t terribly large but was spacious enough to feel like you weren’t right on top of your neighbors. It’s located on Butler Street and we got a table in the front which was nice as it allowed natural light and was also slightly less loud than some of the tables more in the “thick” of the dining room.
We both opted for the restaurant week menu which included the house salad, your choice of any entree (except fish), and dessert, all for $20.14. As I can’t consume lettuce, I eschewed the house salad and for an additional charge got Caprese Salad ($9) which I love. This was different from any other caprese salad I’ve had before and that was definitely a good thing. It featured a medley of heirloom tomato slices, bourbon and white wine poached peaches, fresh mozzarella, torn basil leaves, capers, and vinegar and olive oil. I could have done without the capers (I tried one for the first time ever and I was thoroughly grossed out by its taste) but the peaches were a really nice touch. I wasn’t sure about peaches paired with tomatoes but honestly, it worked.
The house salad was particularly festive as it featured mixed greens, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, roasted red peppers, and chick peas. It definitely wasn’t your standard, here’s your green lettuce salad.
For my entree I went with Ravioli and while I was thinking that I should have gotten something more exotic and daring (like the gnocchi that came in a rabbit ragu), I was very pleased with my choice. The raviolis were enormous and the sauce featured large chunks of San Marzano tomatoes, which I adore. It also came topped with “blobs” of fresh mozzarella cheese and really, can you ever have too much mozzarella?
D opted for the Linguini which came topped with shrimp, scallions and chives. He said the shrimp were delicious.
Dessert selections included a strawberry shortcake, a key lime torte, a chocolate cake, a cake with dulce de leche frosting, and lastly, a limoncello cake. I got the limoncello which was divine. Seriously, I hadn’t tasted anything so good in a while. D selected the strawberry shortcake which he definitely loved as well. Portions for the cake slices were also pretty massive. My only “slight” disappointment was that the dessert selections weren’t more Italian, but perhaps the offerings they did have were for restaurant week and they will eventually roll out more authentic ones. I hope.
While there were only two waitresses handling tables on a very busy night, both were extremely pleasant and amiable and seemed genuinely interested in hearing what we thought and hoped that we would return (which we certainly would). San Lorenzo is a perfect reason why you should always support small businesses.
San Lorenzo Ristorante
4407 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA. 15201